First Book Recommendation: Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird

simplicity

Dear Blog Land…hello y’alls! Hope you are all doing well this Sunday afternoon. Me? You ask, well—I’ve got the most annoying writer’s block in my life. The kind that makes me sound like a deuchbag going through an existential crisis at a friend’s get together after one too many beers.

But what does it really mean to have writer’s block? I am starting to understand it better now. It means I haven’t greased my engine. It means that I have been lazy. I have been neglecting the one thing that used to bring peace to my life: reading. It’s simple really, instead of complaining just write about what it is you are going through until (eventually) the writing will morph into what you want it to be!   Ugh.   I hope this is the answer. For now, I am going to rely on some books given to me by my PhD candidate friend from UC Berkeley. I’m starting with Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. The chapter emphasized is “Shitty First Drafts.”

I’ve read the chapter before in a creative writing class, but it’s time for a refresher.

My friend suggested I catch up on some books that are made to inspire writers who are also women of color because apparently we have our own disease of writer’s block to deal with.

Book List from UC Berkeley PhD Candidate that I am sharing with you:

1. Bird by bird by Anne Lamott

2. Woman Native Other by Trinh T. Minh-ha

3. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

4. Borderlands, La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldúa

Happy Reading y’all, and wish me luck.   I need it.

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Writer’s Block

I’ve got a case of the writer’s block y’all. It’s really starting to freaking annoy me. I’ve started about five posts, stopped mid sentence, and said to myself, “This is SH*T!”     So today, Reader, I ran away from my temporary home (my mom’s house) and came to my favorite hole in the wall in Temple City: Boba Express. It’s a quaint boba/coffee shop next to an old fashioned barber shop on Las Tunas Drive. A fun escape from all that is…well, familiar. Also, a good forty five to fifty miles away from my mother’s place. I love my mom, but sometimes she…well, sometimes she wants grandchildren and since I am not able to provide her with such right now, she focuses on making me look pregnant by feeding me all types of delicious greasy Peruvian stuff. I ran away. Away I ran.

I’m here now, drinking a Coconut Milk Tea Boba and chilling in the shade. Every now and then a gentle breeze comes through the back door and caresses my face. It’s a nice feeling. A very nice feeling, especially because the San Fernando Valley feels like the surface of the sun today! Aren’t we supposed to be getting rain soon? Gah…

Anyways, back to the reason I am writing (my personal drama). I think I have writer’s block because I am genuinely concerned about my future with writing. I mean, what do you plan on doing with your life? Writing? What does that mean? What are you writing about? Blah blah! And then there’s my novel. Is it based on a character, or are you trying to write an anthem? It’s like I’m getting spooked out of my own creativity.

Mainly, the most haunting question looming in the corners of my brain is WILL I HAVE A CAREER IN WRITING? Will I? Sometimes I tell myself that as long as I keep writing, and as long as I work through the writers block — something good will come out of it.     I should just keep venting to this blog because at least in my head, I know there’s some crazy a$$ woman out there who is also obsessed with aliens and afraid of writing about what she loves.

But you know what Reader? I’ve been hard on myself. I think we writers can sometimes be too much. We want to take a big bite, and sometimes, we’re not ready for the big bite. I think right now I have to take smaller bites, chew comfortably until the right answers emerge in my mouth like fun little flavors in a chocolate bar. Flavors that will inevitably settle down to give me the right answers. My imagination runs away from me sometimes, and in my naivete I came here to day, to this boba place to escape. I thought, maybe if I run after it to Boba Express, me and my creativity might meet up. I’d be like, Hey Creativity, it’s been a while. Come have  seat with me! Then I would proceed to swallow my creativity in order to trap it inside of me always. She hasn’t shown up. No luck! However, I am enjoying this refreshing drink.

Sometimes, Reader, I forget to celebrate the small things in life. These small things are what make us who we ARE: weird a$$ people with awkward social skills to boot.

I mean, right now I have an audience of about one to four on a daily basis. Isn’t that enough? Why must I be such a selfish little Peruvian creeper? As long as I reach some, that should be enough, for now. The point is to connect with a reader, Reader. Am I right? Tell me if I’m wrong.

No you’re not wrong! (<–talking to myself again) Damn straight. We writers need to take pride in our small successes and work through the things that discourage us to continue our progress. Life sometimes can interrupt our flow: bills, rent, work, drama, rejections, relationships, alien abductions, etc. These things can chip away at our soul on a daily basis, but in the end — we have to do it. We have to write. I’ve had writer’s block for about five days now—and quite frankly, it’s gross. Like, I want to throw up at how much time my creativity has decided to be away from me. It’s probably because I bragged about working on the third chapter of my novel to someone a few days ago. I have instant karma like that—but whatever. I should celebrate the fact that at least I started five posts with five unfinished sentences the past five days. That’s how Hemingway did it anyways (or at least that was a rumor I heard). He would stop writing his pieces mid sentence, in order to have something to complete the next day.  That’s a good tactic. Now time to work through the block. Ugh, this is so painful.